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Catasetum Orchids: Care guide for the Catasetum Orchid plant  

Catasetum Orchids are unique members of the Orchidaceae family. They are from a large genus with well over 150 different Catasetum varieties with different appearances. 

Catasetum spp

The Catasetum orchid which can be found growing in tropical regions of South and Central America is known for its big pseudobulbs and flowers that come in a wide variety of shapes and colors ranging from green to yellow.

Catasetum produces both female and male flowers that are a little difficult to differentiate from each other. 

They are grown as ornamental flowers because they are easy to care for and provide nice aesthetics to any living space. 

Botanical NameCatasetum spp
Common NamesCatasetum Orchids
OriginSouth and Central America
Plant TypePerennial Flowering plant 
Full SizeRanges from 10 to 14 inches tall
Sun ExposureBright but indirect sunlight 
Soil TypeWell-draining,  rich soil 

Caring For The Catasetum Orchid Plant

Catasetums are mid to low-maintenance plants that have specific lighting, soil, temperature, fertilizer and watering requirements that are crucial to proper plant growth. 

Light Requirements for the Catasetum Orchid Plant 

Catasetum Orchids are sensitive to the intensity of light they receive, and as such you should ensure to keep lighting at moderate levels. 

Too much direct sunlight can lead to the plant’s leaves getting scorched, while too little sunlight could limit plant growth and reduce the quality of blooms it produces. 

Aim for a healthy balance when it comes to lighting by placing the exotic potted plant in a room with an eastward-facing window. There it can receive adequate exposure to direct morning sunlight. 

Relocate the potted plant during the mid-day or make use of light cloth or curtain to filter the intensity of the afternoon sun’s harsh sun rays. 

Watering Requirements for Catasetum Orchids 

Watering Requirements for Catasetum Orchids 
Res Quetzal on Flickr

Following the right watering routine is crucial to the Catasetum’s growth as the Catasetum water needs differ with each phase of its growth. 

During the plant’s growing season, it is recommended that you water the Catasetum at least once a week or twice a day, depending on how hot the temperature is. 

As the growing season ends and winter approaches, limit watering to once a month or once in 5 weeks. This is because the plant falls into dormancy during this period. 

Never let your Catasetum plant roots sit in soggy soil for too long as you risk them suffering from bacterial or fungal attacks over time. 

Catasetum Orchids Soil Requirements 

An ideal soil type for the Catasetum orchid would be rich, well-draining soil with good moisture retaining abilities. 

You can get that with a good, rich orchid potting mix, and some sphagnum moss to help boost its water retaining ability. 

During the plant’s dormancy period, you can try taking out the Catasetum plant from its potting mix and laying its roots bare on a tray to avoid excess moisture build-up leading to root rot. 

Temperature and Humidity Requirements of the Catasetum Plant    

Catasetums are tropical plants that require a warm and humid climate to survive. They are perfect for greenhouses and humidity should be kept between 40% to 65%.  

You can achieve this indoors, with the use of a humidifier or through regular misting of the Catasetum flower.

Temperature levels should range between 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature levels lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit would be harmful to the exotic orchid. 

Fertilizer Requirement for the Catasetum Orchid

Fertilizer Requirement for the Catasetum Orchid
Gena Jogolev on Flickr

A high nitrogen fertilizer is great for the Catasetum orchid, ensure that this is done once every week during the plant’s growing season. 

When in dormancy, you should avoid fertilizing the plant as it could cause more harm than good to the plant. 

The fertilizer to be used should be diluted to about half of its initial strength before use. 

Repotting Catasetum Orchids   

Catasetum orchids should be repotted once every year. This helps in promoting healthier growth. 

Use a pot that is a little bigger and ensure that it has enough drainage holes in them to support quick and easy passage of water. 

Common Health Problems of Catasetum Orchids

When you overwater your Catasetum plant, you open them up to a few dangers, also there are a few pests known to trouble the Catasetum flower; these are; 

  • Aphids
  • Spider mites
  • Spotting fungi
  • Root rot
  • No flowering 

Frequently Asked Questions

When should I start watering my Catasetum?

It is recommended that you start watering a new Catasetum once its roots are over 3 inches long. 

How do you get rid of orchid pests?

For pests like spider mites and aphids, use rubbing alcohol on its leaves.

How often should I water Catasetum?

Watering varies with the temperature level but can range from once every 2 days to once a week.

Is Catasetum epiphytic?

In the Catasetum genus, there are a few Catasetum epiphytic orchids found on trees or walls.  

How can I get Catasetum Orchids?

You can get Catasetum orchids for sale in most floral shops in the United States or order from online stores like Amazon or Etsy.